|A final sunset over the Panamanian mountains|
We returned to Mr Mac – once again at the Red Frog Marina on Isla Bastimentos near Bocas del Toro – in late October. We’d been in Panama for the last two cruising seasons and decided it was time to move on, so we had a lot to do. First on the list was cleaning the deck of the black mold and mildew than had flourished in the tropical humidity and sunlight. The marina had contacted us about doing it, but we’d thought “We’ll be back there in a week, so why not save the money and do it ourselves!” Well, it took Chris two full days to scrub the deck clean, but it finally looked decent again, and we spent the money we saved on our anniversary (27 years!) dinner. Next up was installing a new radar dome and display (our old one crapped out last spring), which went relatively easily, considering that we only had to install a new cord from our cockpit to the mast, and not an entirely new power cord up the mast, which is always a bitch to do. Our most dreaded job was hauling out and painting the bottom. Never a pleasant job, we were also wary of our shameful lack of Spanish complicating matters. Fortunately, Fabian, the yard manager at Bocas Yacht Services, spoke great English (being from Brazil, his native tongue is Portuguese, so Spanish was a second language for him, too). We were doing our own work, so communication with the other yard workers was almost entirely social, consisting of our broken Spanish, their broken English, and lots of smiles and sign language. There’s a little hotel in Almirante only a dinghy ride and short walk from the boatyard with rooms for $25 a night – not the most comfortable, but certainly cheap and boasting a great little restaurant. Lo and behold, the rain held off just long enough and we were done and back in the water in three days – the quickest and easiest haulout we’ve ever had. It was hard saying goodbye to the friends we’ve made in Bocas over the past couple of years, but as we’ve learned so often in cruising, we may well see them in another anchorage!
|Red Frog has added a lovely beach club with infinity pool, bar, and restaurant (and flowers!)|
|Mementos of a walk through the Red Frog property - a tropical flower and the outside leaf of a banana tree blossom|